I blogged about Studio Ghibli (specifically Miyazaki) films back in August. I was thinking about trying to catch up on any Miyazaki films I hadn’t gotten around to seeing. I was surprised at the time to discover that none of them were available digitally in the US, either for sale or rent, or on one of the pay-per-month streaming services. Since then, I’ve watched a few, by the relatively old-school method of checking them out from my local library on DVD.
Just a few days ago, Otaku USA posted an article with the title “No Plans for Studio Ghibli Films to Hit Streaming Services,” so it looked like they were still holding out. Then yesterday I saw an article in the Times saying that the films will start streaming on the new HBO Max service starting some time next year. I guess that’s cool, if it allows more people to see great stuff like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. But I’d kind of liked that Ghibli was still holding out, and that you had to make at least a little effort to “find” their films. Once the films are on HBO Max, will we still have stuff like Ghibli Fest? Or the cool special edition Blu-Rays from GKids? (Eh, ignore me, I’m just a cranky old man. I’m sure GKids will be happy to keep selling Blu-Rays to weirdos like me. Or I can always hit eBay for used DVDs.)